Bethany 101 is a charming six-bedroom boutique villa fronting the vast Puttalam Lagoon in north-west Sri Lanka. Built in 1836 by a Moorish family from Puttalam, this fully-refurbished villa has been in the family for generations and maintains its traditional architecture of ornate doors and windows, wrap-around veranda, wooden floors and high ceilings. Beautifully-restored antique furniture, brass urns, porcelain plates and vases are all reminiscent of the glorious lifestyle of a bygone era, blended seamlessly with modern day comforts. Bethany 101 offers well-appointed rooms, which open out to the rear gardens or have lagoon views, sumptuous traditional cuisine and a laid back, informal setting that feels like home. The villa can be booked by the room or as a whole and can accommodate up to 12 guests. Families with children are welcome.
There are six ensuite bedrooms, of which three (including the luxurious Master Suite) are accessed through the living room. The remaining rooms are located towards the rear and open out to the veranda and landscaped gardens. Interiors are comfortably-furnished with twin or king-sized antique four-poster beds fitted with mosquito netting. Rooms have a/c, overhead fans and ensuite bathrooms with h/w showers.
There are several places to relax, including the living room, which has a front porch and picturesque views of the lagoon, and the poolside garden pavilion. Gardens are well-maintained and covered with many types of tree and flowering plants. Other facilities include: a swimming pool; entertainment room with satellite TV, DVD player, collection of films and books (including children’s books),board games and Wi-Fi; kayaks and bicycles; cricket and basketball gear, and a treehouse and swing for children. Traditional local food is served on the veranda overlooking the gardens, which is an interesting mix of flavours from India, China, the Middle East and Europe, influences from centuries ago when traders from across the world settled here. Bethany 101 offers dishes to suit any palate, from ancient Sri Lankan favourites to adventurous international gourmet cuisine. Meals are prepared with fresh village vegetables and seafood, including prawns and crab from the lagoon. Only Halal meats are used in the preparation of meals and pork is not served. The property does not have a licence but guests are welcome to bring their own alcohol and no corkage charge is levied.
Why we like it
A caringly-restored villa which is a tempting base for exploring Wilpattu game park
Bethany 101 is a 170-year-old Moorish villa facing the tranquil Puttalam Lagoon in the north-west. It is centrally-placed to access the Kalpitiya peninsula - popular for whale and dolphin spotting - and the jungles of Wilpattu National Park. The journey from Colombo’s international airport will take about three hours.